What makes City Quays 1 so sustainable?

Belfast Harbour’s latest development City Quays 1 offers tenants a 25% reduction in operating costs.

This best in class Grade A office building, which is due to be completed shortly, has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of “EXCELLENT”, a rating which represents ‘Best Practice’ in the industry, performing within the top 10% of UK new non-domestic buildings. It will also achieve the highest Energy Performance Certificate ‘A’ rating.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), is the world’s longest established and most widely used method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings.

Tim Boyle of the Harbour’s Property team gives us the lowdown on what makes City Quays 1 so energy efficient:

“We have sought to use the most up to date technologies available to us, such as a variable refrigerant flow system paired with high coefficient of performance heat pumps for heating and cooling. This arrangement is complimented by high performance solar control glazing which reduces solar heat gain while maintaining high levels of natural light. We have also utilised demand controlled ventilation, and daylight and presence controlled LED lighting. A roof-mounted photovoltaic array will also provide energy for direct use within the common areas of the building”.

Along with the building’s integral sustainability systems, occupiers of City Quays 1 will sign up to a Green Lease which ensures all parties work together to use the building as efficiently as possible and maintain the BREEAM Excellent accreditation. This includes ensuring that occupier fit-out designs integrate with the building’s efficiency and engaging in regular energy audits to ensure that the systems are utilised to their optimum.

City Quays 1 office is the first completed building within the 20 acre water-fronting regeneration scheme City Quays, which was masterplanned by Grimshaw Architects, London. The masterplanning process initiated the sustainability objective in terms of design by incorporating passive solutions in creating sustainable built forms. For instance all buildings have been orientated to maximise daylight penetration, therefore minimising the need for artificial lighting in the workspaces. To permit daylight penetration at the lower floors of the commercial buildings the floor to floor heights were increased. The fact that the City Quays development is located on a brownfield site adjacent to the city centre core and its amenities was an excellent platform which to build the sustainability agenda.

The scheme will house a wide range of uses and having these amenities such as cafés on site will ensure vibrancy and minimise the need for occupants to travel. The proposed mix of uses will attract people across various times of the day and evening creating a diverse and lively place to work, live and relax which is fully integrated into the city fabric.

Sustainable transport to and from the development is also being developed with a waterfront walk being created between City Quays and the existing Laganside walk. This together with the installation of a dock for the soon to be launched Belfast City Council ‘Bike Share’ scheme and the already existing adjacent public transport linkages should assist in creating a 21st Century sustainable environment.